simply having a wonderful christmastime

We are on the EAST COAST for the holidays this year-- as far east as you can get without hitting Europe or drowning in the Atlantic Ocean. That's right. The Allen's 2012 holiday season is on the beach. After having so many Christmases in Provo, a warmish beach in December is quite a transition. Warmish being about 50 degrees. But heck, this beach house we rented was a steal since it's the off season. And there was no way my parent's new housing situation would fit all 10 of us.

For the past week me and Andy have been exploring DC. My siblings were all still in school and we had an entire week to kill before their Christmas break. We've jumped from museum after museum. Saw Kermit at the Smithsonian. Studied up on evolution at the Natural History Museum. Spent hours and hours at the Air & Space Museum (Andy wants to be an astronaut. He was in heaven. It was all just a bunch of shiny planes to me, but ya know, still cool). Sprinted through Roy Lichtenstein's exhibit at the National Gallery (It was about to close. I was SO EXCITED. Missing that has been my biggest regret of this trip so far). My mom found us this sweet set-up with a lady in her ward who had a spare bedroom with a surprisingly comfortable air mattress. But we've hardly been there, what with all the time we're spending in the city.

Seeing my family for the first time in 5 months was so great. They've literally been right around the corner ever since I "left" for college. Now that they're gone I've realized how much I completely took advantage of their closeness. It's so fun to be right in the middle of them again.

In the car after getting picked up at the airport in Baltimore. They had a huge plate of brownies- hence Josh's beautiful brown teeth. 10 points if you can find Andy.

 For the past 2 days we've been kicking it back at this beach house. I've never been to Virginia Beach before and I about cried on the drive down to Sandbridge.


And not the way you'd expect. These beautiful beautiful colonial houses decorated in their Christmas lights surrounded by these huge yards and freakishly large trees. One after another after another. A Trader Joe's AND a Whole Foods right around the corner. So many ma & pa seafood diners. And a Super Target right next to a Wendy's that just about saved my life (long story). Long windy roads. Fields of farms and horses. And the beach. ALL RIGHT HERE. I'm already doing research on houses here. This is my destiny.

1// a present sent from my 6 year old cousin Lizzie 2// christmas eve classy dinner
3// matching brojamas, stewie style 4//we may not have a tree, but we gosh darn got some presents
5// talking to Sister Becca on the speaker phone

How about some Christmas day highlights?
  • Andy and I both bought things to put in each other's stocking. His Rockstar and giant bag of jalepeƱo cheetos are long gone. I am totes excited to watch my new Princess Bride movie. We got to stay up and fill them up after everyone else had gone to bed. 
  • Last night, all of the boys, including my dad, ripped off their shirts and dove into the ocean in their underwear. Gangham style was danced in the shallow end. Oh how I wish my camera wasn't dead at that moment. Oh did I mention? I forgot my battery charger so my nice Canon camera is dead to me until we get to Rexburg. Great timing, right? MISERY! 
  • Most of the gifts we got this year were events that the whole family could participate in. We're all going to go see Les Mis tomorrow, Ripley's Believe it or Not on another day, and finish up at a huge meal at Texas Roadhouse. They even gave me and Andy a gift card for our own date night. Such a great idea to give experiences as gifts. 
  • Liza took over Becca's usual role and made the video. She's complied all of the pictures, videos and favorite songs from this year and combined it all into a video that we watch on Christmas day. It's so awesome to go back and see how much we've changed in a year. We've been doing these videos since like 2006. 
  • My parents had my Grandparents in Provo mail over the Christmas stockings that were in storage with the rest of my parent's Christmas decorations without telling most of the kids. They weren't expecting them at all. In fact they even pulled out a couple of their own socks and laid them across the table. They were so surprised to see them sitting there this morning, chock full of goodies. Brina's face was hilarious. 
  • Watching Liza and Brina try to figure out how to play a game on the new Kinect. So awkward. What a weird gaming system. 
  • PHONE CALL WITH BECCA! I wasn't expecting that phone call to be as hard as it was. We all got a designated amount of minutes with her and I could hardly speak. She's only been gone for 5 months, but I feel like it's been absolutely forever. We are so close. I'm so lucky to have a sister like her. 
Okay well, I've taken 2 naps already today and haven't even bothered to layer on  deodorant  I think I'll go back to the kitchen for another plate of bacon and perhaps a glass of eggnog. 

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